Salams Cherished Readers!
I’m Sara and by the Will of Allah, I live in busy West London, right underneath the flight path, with my husband, three big sons (21,19 and 16 ) and a little 8-year-old daughter who is currently being homeschooled. Cherished and Successful is my online coaching platform to write about ways to nourish marriages. I’m a women’s marriage coach and coach ladies and often their husbands face-to-face from home, and over Skype.
I’ve been married mashaAllah 22 years now, and life is as busy as ever, which it has been since I got married, really! We live together with my elderly parents in law and also our Bengal cat who loves pipe-cleaners and brings in mice all the time.
We have such a hectic schedule that it’s hard to plan things. We literally fly off the seat of our pants most of the time! Jawad takes one of the boys out each week for date-with-dad, I’m learning Arabic and attend a weekly evening class, we go to halaqahs at Ha Meem Foundation every other Friday, my daughter has gymnastics and swimming, there’s something happening almost every evening, so when we have an evening free its more of a relief.
We try to go somewhere as a family at least once a year – which is always a bit of a challenge as someone always seem to have exams or busy with something else, or maybe just isn’t in the mood!
More about me
I’ve been coaching women since 2008. I have run one-day workshops and online seminars in the past, but currently, I’m focusing on one-to-one coaching for women and couples while I working with my book being published – watch this space, the wait is nearly over! This year has all been about working out how to squeeze in coaching, writing, studying and homeschooling into the daily schedule.
Oops, did I leave out cooking?!
In order to fit it in, I’ve just signed up online grocery shopping and found a lovely lady to help with my cleaning which has taken off the burden of housework considerably. Alhamdulillah, all the big people of the house (five of us) have one a designated cooking day each (the remaining two days we have leftovers or freezer food). AlhamduliLlah for blessings that make our lives easier!
I am a champion of both women’s and men’s rights. My self-development journey has taken me down many paths. From being a people pleaser who just lived to make others happy, I became disdainful and disrespectful of those around me – when my own needs weren’t being met it led to me being bitter, resentful and controlling. Once I started to respect my own needs and limits, I was able to better respect my husband.
We live in an era where ‘feminism’ has become an excuse for women belittling men. We have had a rise in women becoming stronger and being recognised, which is great! But it has come at a cost of deprecating the qualities of men, which I think has been a great shame. Yet still, women don’t get the true recognition they deserve. We still have unfair standards for what is acceptable for men and women, and women still get abused unfairly, and many men (and women!) think it’s acceptable.
My journey took me down the road of what Islam says about this injustice, and this journey was rife with heartbreak. I found some really upsetting and unjust ‘teachings of Islam’ which led me to search for the truth. Does Allah really see women as inferior? And as I searched, Allah guided, all praise be to Him. I found teachers preaching a different tune. One that advocated women’s rights, autonomy, feistiness. One that embraced the nature of a woman.
Yet more importantly: how The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, embraced the nature of a woman. I finally felt at peace.
I am now passionate about smuggling back the rights the Islam gave to women which have morphed into something unjust, strange-feeling yet widespread. I am desperate to smuggle back the God who loves women just as much as He loves men. And I am in love with His Messenger, who understood the struggle. The struggle of women not being heard, not being having access to his teachings, being treated unjustly, being abused. He acknowledged the struggles and addressed them. He recognised their strengths and applauded them in the home and even on the battlefield. He spoke up for women and guided his male companions to do the same; may we all take his teachings as our guide. May Allah’s peace and blessings be showered upon him!
I struggle with Whatsapp and Facebook. My need to be connected to others often has to be forcefully switched off in order to stay connected to the people in front of me… yet still, I find it challenging.
I’m at the stage in my life where paradoxically, I have more time to myself as the kids are older amidst not having any time for myself at all, as the kids have more complicated needs. Yet as they are older I can escape from the house when I need to, to coach women, reflect on my own emotional needs and to sit at the feet of the scholars and learn… and be empowered… and be equipped for the storms that I face as a wife, mum, daughter, sister, friend, coach and member of my community and society… well-informed is well-equipped!
I love flowers, beauty, singing and having a time-out. I love my few close friends and soul-mates. I listen to nasheeds and qasidas, I like good coffee, buttery cakes and biscuits, sofas, blankets, cushions, movie night, sleeping, parks, nature, cycling and cooking. I love going for breakfast/lunch/dinner with my husband/sons/daughter/sister/friends, any combination will do! I love Lebanese food and really good biryani that I haven’t cooked myself.
Thanks for reading!
About Me – 2017 – pretty much the same as 2019 but things do change…!